2020-09-01 EAST TIMOR

Postulants unable to begin the novitiate participated in a Recharge Program in Baucau

The second-year Postulants from Timor Lest arrived home from Philippines in late February from their 18-month formation program in Davao. The intention was to spend three weeks with their families before travelling to Australia then onto Sri Lanka to commence their novitiate. In early March, COVID-19 arrived, and everything ground to a halt.

Having spent the last five months at home and with the country now enjoying a COVID-19 free environment, the Formation Committee decided to bring them together in Baucau to participate in a 3-week ‘recharge’ program.

 The aims of the recharge program were:

  • to reunite the Postulants and provide them with an interim experience of formation;
  • to recharge their Marist spirit and vocational direction prior to commencing their novitiate;
  • to provide them with an ongoing experience of Marist community; and
  • to reaffirm the spirit of fraternity among them.

A comfortable house close to ICFP where the Postulants could live was provided. The use of classroom and technology facilities at ICFP for daily classes was made available. Each day the Postulants received a regular formation program including face-to-face classes covering topics including Scripture, Marist Spirituality, Youth Ministry, Study of the new Rule of Life, the Marist characteristics and Child safeguarding and protection.

The program also provided for ongoing spiritual formation including daily Eucharist, community prayer, accompaniment, and the usual cooking and house-keeping duties. The Aspirants at Teulale also welcomed the opportunity to try out their soccer skills on the newcomers.

Two significant gatherings of Marists occurred during the Postulants’ time here; the first, to ‘welcome them home’, and the second, to celebrate the conclusion of the program during the Feast of the Assumption and Jubilee celebrations for Brothers Paul Gilchrist and Robert Speare.

The Postulants have now returned home for the moment. While COVID-19 continues to hinder international travel plans for the next step of their Marist journey, we hope that they will soon be able to resume their formation and discernment in other creative ways.


Council for USA Lay Marists...


Solidarity response of the Province of Brasil...